At times, when my son misses me a lot, that is what I say to him too. How sweet and comforting from a Father to his son and from his son (me as a father) to his own son (my son). Obviously, there is hardly any runner at this time and I usually do not plan my route but rather allowing my mood to take me where my feet should go. These days, I like to take my phone with me and while taking a breather, I would take the opportunity to snap some pictures. The first picture was one of the starting point in the park. On the left, you could see some HDB blocks being build and it is very quiet and nice to run here. Oh, while it is really hot, I still manage to choose some shade to run, to conserve energy and talk to my Father.
I like the moment where the mind stop tracking the footsteps and the heartbeat nor the sweat flowing down from the forehead. It gets into a rhythm, a steady momentum and a moment of silent peace engulfs me, giving me assurance like Father would say to a son - "everything would be alright"!
Do Not Worry - Matthew 6:25-3425 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
Running in the nature also bring you closer to these little birds, lizards, fishes, creatures that God creates and if you do spot them from a distance, you can't help admiring how carefree they are. At least they show no sign of stress or worry about the next meal or where they are going to take the shower. Everything that they need IS provided for, every single day.
And tuning into my logical brain, I know from the words of God that we are created in his image and Father loves us a lot that he sacrifices his begotten son. Even that, we still sin and Father does not hold the grudge against us but continue to forgive, to love us unconditionally. The damn Satan must have creep into my mind when I was not careful and starts to poison my thoughts - to slowly but surely start ruminating on my problems instead of focusing on Father. This evil guy wins if we succumb to worry, anxiety, stress and better still into depression and all kinds of illnesses.
He will not have his way as I am typing this blog post. I and you all have access to the power and wisdom of God and we must consciously choose to use this mighty weapon against Satan each and every day. The battle goes on, day, noon and night. Be vigilant and not slip coz that is where the enemy (Satan) attacks us. He wants us to feel bad, guilty, useless, self-blame, anger, jealous of others, critical and so many more. The more negative emotions we have and accumulate over time, the more points he win against God.
How silly! If he only knew what God could do, haha. So during my panting and grasping for air in my run, I asked God to nip all these never-ending negative thoughts about money, healthy, my wants and needs and questions after questions that I continue to have with no answers. Since there is nobody around me, I sometimes shout out loud to get the negative energy out and inhale fresh ammunition (positive words from God) into my body.
And he showed me as I quiet my wild thoughts and listen to him. He reminded me of his words in the Bible - 2 Corinthians 5:7 - we live by faith not by sight.
By sight, I would see my current situation, financial, health, family and if I feel there is a void to be filled, then I have fallen nicely into Satan's trap once more. Once inside the void, one can gets deeper and deeper and spiral downwards into rejection and slowly begin to doubt if God's words is truly alive.
Faith - the assurance of things hoped for not and the evidence of things not seen. By faith, this world is created. It daunts on me that like the run itself, I hope to complete my afternoon run though my legs want to give up on me. Evidence of things not seen - here I believe God wants to show that I have a lot more capacity than I think I have currently. The heat, weather, the thoughts are merely distractions to test my faith. And if I do not give up and hold on to that faith, I would surely receive the accomplishment, that sense of satisfaction that all runners want.
In retrospect, this could be apply to other parts of my life too. To struggle in any areas is a sign that I am not clinging onto the faith but withdrawing from it, tempted by Satan to do what he wants. To feel bad about myself, to self wallow, self-pity and all these messy stuff that is not what I want YET I at times obey Satan and not God. How silly that is to think about it!
Satan offers me nothing but God on the other hand has shown and continues to show me his undivided love towards me and my family. I must continue to walk in faith and fight this battle with Satan no matter how tough it might be.
As the leader of the family, I realised how important that is for me. My wife needs me so are my two young kids. If I am down, even temporarily, I would not be setting a good example for them and they pick up my non-verbal cues and may model after me when they feel down themselves.
God uses many things in Nature to teach and guide me, to steer clear of Satan and stay on the right path. At the end of the park, though it was hard to take pictures as the sunlight was too glaring, I managed to take some of these shots - the tower and the bridge. It reminds me I am like them - a role to fulfil here. They do not just disappear because it is hot or heavy rainfall and duck away from their duties, they continue to stand tall and firm like the bridge. Ships and people can use them to dock their vessels and faraway vessels can send/receive signals in times of emergency.
They look so ordinary, so easy to fade from our memories that we take them for granted. Like how I sometimes take the words of God for granted, it's there and always will so no hurry attitude. I forgot I am a work-in-progress not a finished product and God still has to mould me the man I am to become. Staying away from his words would mean a slower progress and more landmines (unnecessary lessons) to learn.
Thank you Father for your lessons and your grace. I know the journey back home may still be painful and tough but this time round, I have more ammunition than when I first started so off I go....................
Lessons Learnt :
1. Lean not on our own intelligence- when in doubt, low morale, feeling down, always seek him first NOT second
2. Mediate on his words over and over again - fresh perspective would come and a new idea would come to you
3. Know your role - as a father myself, I have to set a good example for my family and kids - dodging from problems show I am weak and not responsible - draw lessons from the tower and bridge
4. Strengthen faith each day - sight is illusionary - it shows us only one side and not the true side of things and we can get misled and become disheartened